What do you say to two women around the first anniversary of the murder of their best friend and her two sons?
If you're a news reporter you politely say, "Would you be willing to meet us for a live interview in Columbia at 6am?"
Meegan Turnbeaugh and Kathy LaPlante were willing. They are a couple of strong-willed women who expect to see justice (out of their control) and expect to see a permanent memorial to Sheri, Gavin and Garett Coleman in Columbia's Bolm-Schuhkraft Park (for which they've taken total control).
They'd each known Sheri and her family about ten years. They met her through work. Kathy's son played sports with Sheri's boys. Kathy was close with the family. Meegan mostly did girl's stuff with Sheri but she of course knew husband Chris (awaiting trial for the murders) and their sons.
Kathy told me she was at the Coleman's house visiting Sheri and Chris the Friday evening before the Tuesday morning murders. Without going into detail (since Kathy and Meegan are likely to testify at the murder trial) Kathy says the visit was a bit strange. But Kathy couldn't have anticipated her friend and kids were about to be murdered in their home.
One year later, the emotional wounds certainly haven't healed and face it, they never will. But seeing justice served and seeing their dream of a permanent memorial to Sheri and her boys in Bolm-Schuhkraft Park will help them and many others deal with these deaths.
For details on the memorial pavilion project funded strickly by private donations (nearly $40,000 so far), check out www.sheriannherboys.com.
Mark Schnyder is a news reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com.